In Brooklyn, Seeking Ways to Stem Youth Violence

Council member Jumaane Williams and Dominique Sharpton at the Flatbush Ave. rally (Photo via Ditmas Park Corner)

Council member Jumaane Williams and Dominique Sharpton at the Flatbush Avenue rally (Photo via Ditmas Park Corner)

Brooklyn community leaders on March 16 urged that more resources be devoted to helping youth in the area and to stemming violence, Anna Gustafson writes in Ditmas Park Corner. Leaders from National Action Network, including Dominique and Ashley Sharpton, daughters of activist Rev. Al Sharpton, gathered in front of the McDonald’s on Flatbush Avenue where a group of teenagers recently beat up one of their peers. Council member Jumaane Williams, representatives of the clergy and others were also in attendance.

“We’re here because there’s a serious crisis,” said Kirsten John Foy, president of the National Action Network’s Brooklyn chapter. “We have violence permeating our schools; we have violence permeating our businesses; we have violence permeating our homes… We have inadequate resources to deal with these issues.”

Numerous speakers stressed this point and urged state leaders, including Governor Andrew Cuomo, to designate significantly more funding for youth programs, particularly in areas that have long been hard hit by violence.

While some echoed the call for more resources for services for youths, such as mental health services and conflict resolution, other participants noted that parents and adults should model behavior for their children. The beating, Ditmas Park Corner noted, was witnessed by numerous adults who did nothing to intervene.

We are standing here today to ask the community to stand up with us,” [Dominique] Sharpton said. “… This is not just a press conference for us – it’s a cry for unity.

“For those who want to join with us, we encourage you to start within your own homes,” she continued.

Ashley Sharpton too stressed the importance of parents’ roles in curbing violence.

“Our parents need to be there – you do not drop them off and let McDonald’s take care of them,” she said.

“It’s no rapper’s fault, no TV show’s fault – it’s our fault,” she continued. “Adults must teach their children.”

Go to Ditmas Park Corner for more about what participants at the gathering had to say, including Council member Jumaane Williams’ comments on the language used to report on such incidents.

3 Comments

  1. There have been so many press conferences and marches related to youth violence that many people are probably numb to them. While such actions may make a few people feel good and perhaps make politicians feel like they’re doing something, obviously we need new strategies and tactics.

    Young people and working class families aren’t pathological and much of our society is not inherently evil. We have to realize that answers aren’t always simple when the challenges are deeply ingrained in our behavior and social fabric.

  2. Scarlett Wilson says:

    Hello,
    My name is Scarlett Wilson and I work for BRIC, a not-for-profit organization in downtown Brooklyn. Brooklyn Independent Media is a cable TV and digital network produced and created by BRIC at its state of the art media facilities, and we would love your help in sharing our original video content with your blogger community!

    VIDEO

    Straight Up: From Ferguson to Freddie Gray-How the Media Covers Race
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WAiMt9IX4eU

    Thank you for your time, and I look forward to connecting with you in the near future.

  3. Scarlett Wilson says:

    Hello,
    My name is Scarlett Wilson and I work for BRIC, a not-for-profit organization in downtown Brooklyn. Brooklyn Independent Media is a cable TV and digital network produced and created by BRIC at its state of the art media facilities, and we would love your help in sharing our original video content with your blogger community!

    This past Monday, Council Member Mathieu Eugene, chairman of the youth service committee, held a hearing to address the youth violence crisis. What is the connection between summer employment and youth violence? Recent studies have shown that when it comes to reducing violent crime, summer job programs can help significantly. Mathieu Eugene discusses more in the video below.

    VIDEO

    BK Live 6.25.15: Matthieu Eugene
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmWOvcPy0t8

    Thank you for your time, and I look forward to connecting with you in the near future.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*